Two people and a 14-month old yellow lab living in a 1,000 square foot apartment isn’t necessarily ideal, but that’s exactly the situation my pup, Beau, and I will find ourselves in at the end of the month when we move into a new apartment. But this certainly isn’t a “woe is me” rant because in reality, most people don’t have the luxury of owning their own home and letting their dogs run free upon countless acres of woods and prairies. For the majority of us, city-living with bird dogs is as real as it gets.
There’s a whole host of issues when it comes to shacking up with a pooch in a big city. Everything from finding adequate training grounds to locating a bag of rawhides can be an adventure, but nothing has me waiting with as much anticipation as watching how Beau copes with the noise, or more accurately, how my neighbors deal with hers.
She’s not a loud dog by any means, but Beau knows she has a voice and isn’t afraid to use it. Will she bark at the sound of passing footsteps in the hallway? Will she whine every time I leave her alone in the apartment? Only time (and neighbors) will tell, but I’ve already thought of purchasing a bark collar just in case. But to be honest, I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with the idea of using one.
Call me soft, but is it fair to strip a dog of its voice? It just seems a bit unnatural to have a dog that doesn’t bark to be let out of a kennel before the hunt, or one who doesn’t whine just a bit when you stop scratching its favorite spot. After all, I bought a Lab, not a Basenji.
When it’s all said and done, I’ll have to see how vocal she is in this new setting and then make the appropriate decision. But until then, what’s your experience with bark collars? Have you used them? If so, did it have any negative effects on your pup?
The Over/Under blog is written by Andrew Vavra, Pheasants Forever’s Marketing Specialist.